Decadent chocolate and candied hazelnut cake

Decadent Chocolate and Candied Hazelnut Cake – A wickedly decadent gluten-free cake.


250g Fairtrade dark chocolate, minimum 60 percent cocoa, grated
150g unsalted butter, cubed
6 free-range eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
2 tsp baking powder


100g Fairtrade dark chocolate, minimum 60 percent cocoa, grated
1⁄2 cup cream

Candied hazelnuts:

1 cup (130g) whole hazelnuts
1⁄4 cup (60ml) maple syrup

Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the chocolate and butter and melt. Remove from the heat and whisk with a fork until glossy and smooth. Set aside to cool a little.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix the ground hazelnuts and baking powder. Fold the hazelnuts and baking powder through the chocolate mixture.

Put the egg whites into a clean dry mixing bowl, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to add several large dollops of the whites into the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined (this helps loosen the chocolate mix). Gently fold in the remaining egg whites one third at a time. Pour intothe cake tin and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes. 

When a skewer is inserted into the middle, the cake should have moist crumbs. It will form a hard crust that will collapse a little when cool.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin before running a knife around the edge and carefully transferring it onto a plate.

Add the grated chocolate to a small bowl. Place a small saucepan over a high heat. Add the cream and bring to a simmer, just before boiling point. Pour mixture over the chocolate and allow to sit for a few minutes before whisking together with a fork until thick and glossy. 

Set the ganache aside to cool and thicken, then pour it onto the cake and place in the refrigerator to set.

Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease and line a small baking tray. Place the hazelnuts on the baking tray and drizzle over the maple syrup. Roll the hazelnuts around in the syrup until well coated. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Give the hazelnuts a good shake halfway through cooking, to coat them in the sticky candy.

Remove hazelnuts from the oven and set aside to cool before touching them. Take care; the candy stays hot for a while! Once cool, break the hazelnuts from the candy and scatter  over the cake. Lightly dust the edge with cocoa powder.

Serve with yoghurt and berry sauce.

Extracted with permission from Ripe Recipes: A Fresh Batch, by Angela Redfern. Photography by Sally Greer, illustrations by Michelle Ineson. Beatnik Publishing 2013, $60 

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